Italian TSO puts submarine drone for seabed surveys to test
Italian transmission system operator (TSO) Terna has launched a project in cooperation with U.S. startup Terradepth focused on testing innovative approaches to surveying the seabed for planning environmentally friendly submarine electrical connections.
As part of Project Odisseo, the first test was conducted off the coast near the port of Casamicciola Terme, on the island of Ischia, Naples, Italy, by using a submarine drone.
During geophysical surveying of the seabed, Terna’s technicians were able to test the performance of the Gavia drone, the AUV from Terradepth employed for the purpose, equipped with advanced sensors, including echo sounder (MBES), side scan sonar and HD camera.
Terna came into contact with Terradepth through its San Francisco “Innovation Antenna” which is aimed at scouting and physically monitoring the U.S. innovation ecosystem, establishing a dialogue with startups located there.
“The partnership with Terradepth has enabled testing of innovative technologies, such as submarine drones, which can supplement and integrate traditional tools used to examine the seabed. Terna invests significant resources in marine surveying, which is a strategic practice for effective planning of technologically advanced submarine electrical connections,” said Terna’s Major Projects and International Development Director, Giacomo Donnini.
Project Odisseo is said to be one of around 70 innovation projects launched by Terna in five tech areas: Digital (smart energy and power management solutions), Energy Tech (innovative solutions that use more efficient, greener technologies), Grid Tech (technology for effective management of grid infrastructure), Advanced Materials (research and development for use of eco-friendly materials with reduced environmental impacts), and Robotics (for process automation).
According to the Italian TSO, the security of submarine assets is one of the main drivers of design and involves the adoption of appropriate cable laying and protection techniques. In this context, the implementation and adoption of cutting-edge technology is said to be an enabling factor.
“Terna remains open to experimentation with innovative solutions such as the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, to explore their possible use to support the planning of complex strategic infrastructure like large submarine electrical connections, with a close focus on sustainability. Terna is a global leader in this regard,” said Terna’s Innovation & Market Solutions Director, Massimiliano Garri.